Find a Fantasy Sub for Hamels

by Alex Resch on August 22, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


The Philadelphia Phillies have placed starting pitcher Cole Hamels (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list with a mild elbow strain. An MRI on Hamels' elbow showed no structural or ligament damage, and he will be eligible to return Saturday, Sept. 1.

The loss of Hamels is a huge blow to the Phillies' playoff hopes, as the team is still in a position to battle for the division or wild card races for the rest of the season. However, the team is forced to go without its ace on a staff already decimated by injuries. The Phillies may have to look to their depleted farm system to find a short-term replacement, but it will be difficult for any minor league arm to even come close to Hamels' production.

If you rely on Hamels for fantasy purposes, stash him on the disabled list or bench for the time being. He expects to return well before the end of the season and feels he will be ready before the team's worst-case projection of three weeks. Hope for him to return after only missing a few starts and reap the benefits when Hamels returns to lead the Phillies and your fantasy team in the hunt for the playoffs.

In the meantime, fantasy owners will need a replacement. They should take a look at Toronto Blue Jays starter Dustin McGowan. In the last month he has collected two wins while posting a 2.79 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He has also struck out 33 batters in 38 2/3 innings. His overall numbers (8-7, 4.19 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 97 strikeouts in 122 1/3 innings) aren't flashy, but he has been giving his team a chance to win each time out, especially lately. McGowan is available in approximately 27 percent of leagues polled.

If you want to take a shot on a kid with a high ceiling but little track record, find Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Franklin Morales on your league's waiver wire. Entering this season, Morales was the organization's second best prospect, behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, according to Baseball America. In the minors this season, split between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs, he was 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 112 2/3 innings. Control seems to be his main problem: He walked 47 batters in 95 2/3 innings with Tulsa, and another 13 in 17 innings with Colorado Springs. Nonetheless, the Rockies called on Morales for his major league debut, when he went 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision. He allowed one run (on a home run), five hits and walked none while striking out four. Morales is available in all leagues polled.

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About Alex Resch

Resch has been a KFFL Hot Off the Wire Analyst since 2006.

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